What do PlayStation and Amazon have in common? It’s not the way they do business, and it’s not the products they sell. It’s the fact that they were both the victims of server failures that caused, in the case of Amazon a few days of outages on the AWS servers, and in the case of PlayStation weeks and weeks. The causes of the failures appear to have been different as well as were the outcomes. Amazon’s was supposedly caused by a malfunctioning redundancy protocol, whereas Sony was hacked. Amazon’s users lost time but very little data, Sony’s lost credit card data and other personal information in some cases. But the fact remains that both services went down, and went down hard and fast. Now the market is starting to wonder: will consumers run scared?
The fact is that cloud computing is broadly misunderstood. Companies in the technology industry have a good idea of what the cloud is, but the average user does not – to them, it’s just the Internet. In a way, they’re right; many services operate in way that is interconnected, but the cloud is more than that – it’s a scalable, movable operation in which everything a company has can potentially be stored on the cloud, and potentially taken.
Until now, companies like Amazon and Sony have been closed-mouthed about what kind of servers and security they use – a smart move in a world of hackers. After these attacks, however, consumers are going to be asking for more details, wondering if the service they are using is actually up to the task of defending their data. Users won’t run scared, but they’re going to want answers to stay put.